Photo: City of Fernie

Photo: City of Fernie

River rescue near Fernie prompts log jam warning

The City of Fernie announced at the beginning of August a dangerous log jam is located north of the Fernie Golf Course and between Fernie and Hosmer. The log jam has caused the Elk River to be considered unsafe and unpassable in this area.

Signage is currently in place and the public is asked to get out of the river and walk the section around the hazard.

On August 4, Fernie Fire Rescue responded to a call about an incident on a log jam on the Elk River between Hosmer and Fernie, just north of the RV Park. When the team arrived, they found four people in a raft pinned up against the log jam requiring rescue.

Crews established upstream and downstream containment before assisting the raft occupants onto the log jam and ferrying them safely to shore.

“Fernie Fire Rescue is asking anyone using the Elk River to avoid this stretch, and if you are travelling through this area to adhere to the posted signage, get out of the river and travel around the log jam on foot,” said Fernie Fire Rescue Chief Ted Ruiter.

“There have been multiple near misses around this log jam and every time the warning signage is ignored it puts not just the public, but rescue crews at risk,” he said.

“The City of Fernie is exploring options with the RDEK to have the risk mitigated, but it is not as simple as just removing the log jam,” explained Ruiter. “It is a costly process, and there are environmental and Provincial regulatory considerations.”